Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Flyweight Champion Demetrious Johnson's second title defense will have to wait until at least June of this year.
That's when "Mighty Mouse," who defeated John Dodson two months ago at UFC on FOX 6 in what was his first-ever title defense, hopes to return to the Octagon after suffering a torn labrum during training, a problem Johnson says has been bugging him since his scrap against "The Magician" in Chicago.
While Team Johnson felt an injured Demetrious could go ahead with his proposed bout against John Moraga -- which was set to headline The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 17 Finale on April 13, 2013 -- and still come out on top, head trainer Matt Hume decide it was a risk that wasn't worth taking.
Johnson conceded and eventually called the bout off, deciding to go ahead with the surgery because at the end of the day, you only have one body and going into a championship fight not at full strength wasn't the wisest move.
"Mighty Mouse" stopped by "The MMA Hour" to talk about the tough decision to go under the knife and when he expects to return:
"You only get one body. It just so happens, Matt told me, ‘Your fights are not as hard as your training camps. Your training camps are the hardest things you can do for a fight.' When I'm in training camp, I push my body to where I just get sore, and when I get into a fight, it shows, I never get tired. That's why Matt made me do the surgery. He said, you could probably do this fight against John Moraga and you could possibly win it, or you could possibly lose it. I don't want to take that risk. I want to have a full training camp going into a championship fight. This is not a joke, we take this very seriously. That's why we decided to get the surgery. If things go well, I'm going to push for June 15."
Johnson will undergo surgery this Thursday (Mar. 7, 2013) in Seattle and is optimistic he will be at full strength in about eight to 12 weeks. Meanwhile, Demetrious says word through the grapevine is his original opponent, Moraga, is willing to wait for his return instead of taking another fight in the interim.
If all goes as planned, Johnson could be taking on the 13-1 fighter at the recently announced UFC 161 pay-per-view (PPV) event scheduled for June 15, 2013 in Winnipeg, Canada.